Nerve tumors can form in the peripheral nerve network anywhere in the body. These tumors often affect the function of the nerve, causing pain and disability. A large majority of peripheral nerve tumors are benign. Some are caused by neurofibromatosis, or schwannomatosis. Malignant Peripheral Nerve Sheath Tumors are very aggressive tumors and should be managed by a multi-disciplinary team.
More recently, two cancer incidence studies reported that, for the period of 1973-2005 in urban Shanghai, brain and spinal tumor was the second most common cancer among children aged 0-14 and its incidence rate increased significantly in adolescents and young adults (15 to 49 year-olds).
There are several factors in deciding to surgically remove these tumors. Some, like schwannomas are slow-growing and can be watched using imaging studies over time. Others, like malignant nerve sheath tumors need to be removed immediately, as they are very aggressive.
Mayo Clinic doctors have experience diagnosing and treating peripheral nerve tumors. Although peripheral nerve tumors are uncommon, Mayo Clinic doctors treat about 3,600 people each year for these tumors. Mayo Clinic doctors have been studying the peripheral nerve and its diseases for more than 40 years in the Peripheral Nerve Research Laboratory.